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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Samuel 4:21-22

And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

For further study - I Samuel 4:1-22

The scripture for today recounts a sad story about how the children of Israel had become so disobedient that the Lord would allow the enemies of Israel, the Philistines, to not only defeat the mighty army that had taken over the “promised land”, but to take their most valued possession, the “Ark of the Covenant”, from them.

This passage reminds the readers that the Ark of the Covenant was where the "glory of the Lord" dwelled among the children of Israel, I Samuel 4:4. The “glory of the Lord dwelleth between the cherubims" on the Ark. The Ark had rested in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle located in Shiloh for almost 350 years.

God had watched the Israelites move into idolatry and disobedience and decided that it was time to chastise them. This account of the attack by the Philistines and the taking of the Ark from the Jewish people is a very sad story.

This passage also records the death of the High Priest Eli and his two sons. The two boys were killed as they were attacking the Philistines, and Eli fell and broke his neck when he heard what had happened.

The sadness of the story is illustrated in the name given to the grandson of Eli. The boy's mother died from grief in the midst of childbirth. The woman attending the birth, I Samuel 4:20, named the newborn "Ichabod" meaning "the Lord has departed from Israel."

Let me remind you that the Philistines of Samuel's day are not the ancestors of the modern Palestinians. (See my study on "Esau and the Palestinians")

The “glory of the Lord” had been dwelling among the Jewish people for almost 400 years, and now would no longer dwell among the Jews for a period of time. It would be over one hundred and twenty years before the Ark would be in the hands of the leaders of Israel and the “glory of the Lord” would return to Israel.

“Ichabod” is a not a name that is commonly used. It speaks of a very sad time for the Jewish people when the “glory of the Lord” departed from the midst of the Israelites, leaving them powerless.

This story depicts the past, but, as was the case in New Testament times, the” glory of the Lord”, made manifest in the person of the Messiah Jesus Christ, dwelt among His people. The “glory of the Lord” will dwell among His "chosen people" once again in the future. This future is quickly drawing closer.

God's chosen people, the Jewish people, must turn from idolatry and disobedience and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for the “glory of the Lord” to once again dwell among them.

In order for this to happen the Jewish people must go through what Jeremiah refers to as the “time of Jacob’s trouble”, Jeremiah 30:7. This is the “Tribulation Period”, the seven-year time of great judgment on the earth.

The Jewish people will become His people and He will be their God, Jeremiah 31:33. Bible prophecy will be fulfilled for the Jews. Remember, this “time of trouble” for the Jews, will be preceded by Christians leaving this Earth, to go to be with Jesus in the heavens.

This event, the next prophetic event to happen, the Rapture, could happen at any moment, even today. This is true especially in light of all that is happening with Israel, Jerusalem and the Jewish people today. Keep looking up. 

PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to never have "Ichabod" written over me. Help me to be faithful and true to You.